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Body Electric - 1984 Body Electric



ARTIST: Body Electric
ALBUM: Body Electric
LABEL: Attic
SERIAL: LAT 1194
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 2007, Unidisc, ATM-1194

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Frank Ludwig - vocals, keyboards * Dave Sinclair - guitar * Kelly Cook - bass * Ross Freisen - drums * Bob Buckley - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 The More Things Change * 02 Stop The Music * 03 Judy's In Her Room * 04 Living Two Lives * 05 Midnight Madness * 06 Somewhere In Time * 07 Don't Take Me For A Fool * 08 It's Gonna Hurt * 09 One Step Back * 10 You Can't Take It With You


Background
I think most observers here at Glory Daze would recognize both Straight Lines album from 1980 and 1981 as two of the best Canadian AOR albums of the decade. But even with several hit singles from both albums it wasn't enough for CBS who booted the band from the label. What a shame this was, as it's a tantalizing thought wondering what a 1982 album might have sounded like from them. Not giving up the fight however were Sinclair and Buckley from the remains of the band and they subsequently joined forces with veteran ex Ironhorse/Trooper/Union man Frank Ludwig. Signing to Attic Records this debut appeared in 1984 and those looking for an extension of the Straight Lines form of pure AOR may have been slightly disappointed. It's AOR through and through, but more high-tech, although there are some definite gems.


The Songs
One of those is the magnificent opener 'The More Things Change', which is a stunning way to present the bands agenda. This is Canadian AOR at its best, rivaling the best of Prism's sound at the time. The synth stabs are constant, with the melodic guitar work simply dazzling, especially the extended solos. This rates with anything off the Straight Lines album with ease. The quirkier side of the band shows up with the bouncy 'Stop The Music', which has a nice chorus but is a little too offbeat for my tastes, a little like Loverboy's more similar moments on the 'Lovin' Every Minute Of It' album. The heavily programmed 'Judy's in Her Room' is typical of the synth pop of the day as is 'Living Two Lives', which takes its cues from bands like Red 7 or Twenty Twenty but is far more AOR flavoured. Check out the huge synthesizer blasts during the chorus for proof, tasty stuff. I hear a lot of Straight Lines in 'Midnight Madness' which is a good thing, but as this is 1984 there's some bizarre off key tangents thrown in, diluting the effect to some extent. Thankfully the band moves back into classic AOR areas with the Wrabit tinged 'The More Things Change' which is a candidate for the AOR hall of fame, if one existed. There's so much happening in this song, all thrilling to the ear, making it a must hear for ardent AOR fanatics. Almost as effective is 'It's Gonna Hurt' and the victorious hook which combines well with the more sultry verses, a great song. The opening bars of 'One Step Back' lead me to believe this is a Straight Lines leftover, simply updated with all manner of keyboard effects. 'You Can't Take It With You' is a suitably powerful AOR anthem to close the album, the guitar solo being the highlight for me.


In Summary
This is a mixed bag in most regards, not that any of the songs are really bad, just the true AOR tracks easily outshine the more experimental ones. When the band play it straight down the line the songs rate with the best AOR of Straight Lines, which is no easy feat. The album was a minor hit in Canada, but by the time of 1985's 'Two Worlds' E.P. Ludwig had been reduced to keyboards only and soon left the band. 1987's 'Walking Through Walls' proved to be the swansong for Body Electric, but they left some quality music in their wake, including this debut which should be more well-known than it is.


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#1 | gdazegod on April 22 2013 13:07:51
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